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Old 11-07-2011, 09:00   #46
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

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Originally Posted by bbbbbguy View Post
A while nack, I was sailing with a friend in his Beneteau 50 Oceanis. We were sailing around St Vincent. We decided to pop over to Bequia for lunch. In the middle of the channel, the wind kicked up and the 8 footers started to roll. Unfortunately for me, his rig is traditional, and the reef lines were on a winch at the mast. Thank god Beneteau has pulpits at the mast. It eas a pain, uncomfortable, and all I could think was INFURL MAST! Perhaps I'm spoined, perhaps I'm just used to what I know.
This is an aside.

I actually prefer the traditional setup slab reefing with ram's horns and reefing lines (and halyards) at the mast. There is far less friction in the lines.

With the aid of an autopilot, I can single-handed reef; or by heaving-to also single-handed reef. (I wear a pdf with harness and tether to do so.)
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:28   #47
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

I really appreciate this tread. I've had the opportunity to sail a boat with a furling main a couple of times. The first time was a pain the second time on a smaller boat (32') there were no problems. Because of the first experience I'd taken boats with furling mains off my list of boats to consider. A friend of mine encouraged me to reconsider, suggesting that maintenance and proper adjustment were the keys to making them work well (sort of like most other things on a boat and in life ). Anyway, after reading this thread and doing a bit more research I've added boats so equiped back on the list of those to consider.

I really appreciate all the comments and opinions
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:59   #48
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

I have sailed a few times with in-mast furling. Never experienced a problem, but having had problems with roller-furling headsails, it seems like it is only a matter of time. Eventually, it will jam and when it does it will be at the worst possible moment. What then? You're pretty much screwed.

I would agree with others who say the sail shape suffers -- it does.

It's also very convenient.
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:56   #49
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

I did commissioning for new boats with one of the largest sailboat dealers in the US, two of our manufacturers boats came from the factory with roller furling mains. In the three years that I worked for them, there was one issue that came up on almost every boat and that was problems with the mainsail furling. Every owner that used the boat on a regular basis has problems with the furler jamming and of course often at the worst possible time. In about a half dozen occasions, the new owners insisted that the furler be removed and replaced with a traditional mainsail. I don't think I would want to have to deal with the worry or potential problem when offshore and a long way from any port. Chuck
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Old 11-07-2011, 20:52   #50
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

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In the three years that I worked for them, there was one issue that came up on almost every boat and that was problems with the mainsail furling. Every owner that used the boat on a regular basis has problems with the furler jamming and of course often at the worst possible time.
Exactly... and the owners who can't get rid of it anymore will defend the system till the end of time.

Look at these batwings... can't have that power and beauty rolling out of a fat ugly mast!

ciao!
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Old 11-07-2011, 21:13   #51
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

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Every owner that used the boat on a regular basis has problems with the furler jamming and of course often at the worst possible time.
That's just not true. Every owner? I've sailed more than 20,000nm with in-mast furlers, and have never had a jam.

Never once.
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Old 11-07-2011, 21:49   #52
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

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That's just not true. Every owner? I've sailed more than 20,000nm with in-mast furlers, and have never had a jam.

Never once.
No but you actually understand sailing and have all that experience behind it too. You wouldn't need the system to sail the boat, you can sail it regardless what kind of system it has. What do you think happens when a new guy steps aboard straight from his RV and gives the furler a go?

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Old 11-07-2011, 21:52   #53
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

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That's just not true. Every owner? I've sailed more than 20,000nm with in-mast furlers, and have never had a jam.

Never once.
I can't say I've never had a jam. But that just led to me learning what causes a jam and how to tune the rig to prevent it from happening. And that was with an old baggy sail. You'd have to be a real moron not to be able to figure out how to tune the rig so it furls nice, it's quite simple. Halyard tension, boom angle, and a little tension on the outhaul. Of course there is no dearth of morons out there.
And a jam is not some catastrophic event you have to go aloft to fix, just gotta unfurl and refurl. Still probably faster than slab reefing on a boat as big as mine.
With a new main and some experience under my belt, I'm getting no jams at all. And I only had a problem once or twice when the boat was new to me.
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Old 11-07-2011, 22:05   #54
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
No but you actually understand sailing and have all that experience behind it too. You wouldn't need the system to sail the boat, you can sail it regardless what kind of system it has. What do you think happens when a new guy steps aboard straight from his RV and gives the furler a go?

ciao!
Nick.
Probably a furling system would be much simpler and easier for a new guy "straight from his RV" to learn to use than learning how to reef by any traditional method. And he might actually do it instead of sailing around with too much sail up and the rail down all the time. It never ceases to amaze me how many people out there think they are not going fast unless the rail is in the water. Most of them have full batten mains with huge roaches, laminated sails, and lots of go-fast equipment. I constantly see them bashing along to windward with a big grin plastered on their face, rail down and making leeway as fast as they are headed to weather. If they could furl up a little sail they might sail at the same speed on a more even keel and make less leeway while being much easier on their gear. But I guess that might take away the big grin, and the every body look at me I'm sailing so very fast effect. I personally could not care less about a fraction of a knot under sail, and that is what we are talking about. I'm much more concerned with safety and ease of use. And the added benefit of being able to balance the helm is priceless, once you start playing with it. Plus if I want to have some go fast fun, on most points I can hoist the asymmetrical and the mizzen staysail. Then I have an express train.
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Old 11-07-2011, 23:55   #55
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

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That's just not true. Every owner? I've sailed more than 20,000nm with in-mast furlers, and have never had a jam.

Never once.
For Waterwayguy's comment not to be true you would have to be one of his owner/buyers.

Were you ?
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:38   #56
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I done thousands on miles with in Mast. Never a problem, once you know what your doing. Most problems are from idiots who never read the manual and roll them up loose.

Dave
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:53   #57
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

Nice to see things being turned upside down

About heeling: an in-mast furled sail will never have that optimal shape of a large roached fully battened main. This automatically means that the boat with in-mast furling heels more, resulting in less speed, unsafer conditions on deck (good that they don't have to go there to reef the main...) and less comfort.

Another missing safety feature is that with in-mast furling, the angle between boom and mast must always be 90 degrees or the system will jam. This is in sharp contrast to well cut slab reefed mains, which will lift the end of the boom higher off the deck for each extra reef. This is done so that the boom will not hit the water in boisterous conditions, which can easily break the boom and/or lead to other damage.

About learning to sail: learn it the right way with sails that get hoisted and slab reefed; there is no reason not to learn that and push-button operation can always be added later when you need it for a reason that makes sense. I added push button operation to my main and mizzen too... without in-mast furling.


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Old 12-07-2011, 08:36   #58
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Nick the issues you mention never really occur in practical situations. Firstly the stability of most modern designed includes calculations for in mast. Secondly booms on most cruising yachts are so high ( especially with modern high freeboard yachts ) that the specific boom in the water issue isn't there.

In reality there's little difference now
between the two for a conventional cruising boat. Roach area solutions are available for in-mast including inflatable battens , vertical battens and flexible spring battens that can furl.

If you want the ultimate then sure get a solid wing mast 

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Old 12-07-2011, 08:58   #59
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

Well Jedi, that settles it. Wingmast it is.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:36   #60
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Re: Furling Mainsail or Not ?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I done thousands on miles with in Mast. Never a problem, once you know what your doing. Most problems are from idiots who never read the manual and roll them up loose.

Dave
Or an idiot like me who tried to furl my in-mast sail with too much backstay tension and wrong boom angle.

I did jam mine once, a year ago, and it was not a fun afternoon. Bash helped me figure it out online in time to save my first Channel crossing.

Since then I've had probably 60 days at sea and maybe a couple thousand miles -- not the slightest problem. Once you understand a few basic principles. I have great confidence in the system's reliability.

I have had luff car tracks jam or jump out with slab reefing (and one such case was quite scary). I've also had reefing lines get jammed.

Any reefing system is subject to failure, particularly when used incorrectly.
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